Omega-3 fatty acids are essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). These PUFAs can not be synthesized by the human body but has many health benefits. The health effects have been extensively documented and probably the most known effect of omega-3 PUFAs is to reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases. There are also indications that omega-3 PUFAs may lower the risk for dementia and mitigate depression.
The most important omega-3 PUFAs in the human diet are:
1. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
2. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
3. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
DHA is not involved in eicosanoid formation but is highly concentrated in the brain and involved in normal neurological development and functioning. Next to that, DHA is an important part of the retina and plays a role in visual development and normal eye function.